Guardianship of a Minor
Worcester Lawyers for Guardianship of a Minor
Family Law Attorneys in Worcester
In the United States, parents have a right to care for their children unless they are determined to be unfit. At Murphy & Rudolf, LLP, our Worcester family law attorneys have extensive experience dealing with divorce issues. We can provide diligent representation and legal advice for cases regarding guardianship of a minor.
Call today at 508-762-1397 for a free consultation.
Today, it is not uncommon to find grandparents, aunts and uncles, or other relatives in the Probate and Family Court seeking guardianship of children for a variety of reasons. When a court deems a parent unfit to care for a child, other relatives may step in and seek guardianship depending on the best interests of the child. Guardianships can serve an important role in protecting children from harm and ensuring that they are in the presence of capable caregivers while the parents take steps to become fit again.
Reasons that parents may be unfit to care for their children include:
- They are abusing drugs or alcohol
They live in unclean or hazardous conditions
They suffer from significant medical issues
They are unable to care for their children due to incarceration or military service
Guardianships, however, can also be mistakenly used by non-parents to gain access to children to whom they believe they have rights when they actually do not. This most often occurs in situations where non-parents fear losing their relationship with a minor child as a result of a contested custody matter between married or unmarried parents.
Abuse of the guardianship process can sometimes cause more harm than good, and our Worcester divorce lawyers can take your specific circumstance into account and determine the best course of action to seek a positive solution.
Guardianship Laws in Massachusetts
When a government agency like the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families seeks to terminate a parent’s constitutional right to raise their children, it will appoint a lawyer to that parent. Right now in Massachusetts, the same right is not always afforded to a parent when it is a non-government agency seeking to terminate parental rights, even though the outcome can be just as damaging to the parent-child relationship. If you are at risk to having your children taken away, our Worcester family law attorneys can help protect your rights and defend against charges of unfitness in court.
If a guardianship order is entered after a final hearing or after all interested parties have agreed to a guardianship, a permanent decree of guardianship will be issued by the court. Even though it is called a permanent decree, by law, guardianships are meant to last only as long as the parent remains unfit. Once the parent is fit again, he or she can petition to regain custody of the child.
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